The ideas of Hegelís dialectics had a wide response in the 19th century and made a deep imprint on the philosophy of that time. Many thinkers borrowed them for using in their own systems. Among such systems those of Hegelians, Neohegelians and Marxism may be mentioned. The latter was of especial meaning for the 20th century philosophyís and cultureís development.
The founder of Marxism a German philosopher Karl Marx in his youth was a fierce Hegelian and namely the Hegelís dialectics became one of the chief grounds for his own system. Marx always appreciated it very much pointing however that in Hegelís system it had been turned upside down and thatís necessary to put it correctly, downside down, making it materialistic. And Marx made it materialistic. Thus in short the Marxist philosophy can be characterized as materialism + dialectics.
Beforehand Marx applied the dialectic approach to the teaching of society and historical development. He accepted the Darwinís conception of humans parentage from monkeys. Human according to him differs from animals by its reason, the latter in its turn leads human to pointing out itself from its environment and to opposing to it (animals do not point out themselves from environment). So the first opposition Ďhuman ─ environmentí emerges and further development goes according to common laws of dialectics. Human tries to put off this opposition adjusting the nature (i. e. the environment) to its needs, i.e. to humanize the nature. Eventually he might succeed in it and all nature will be completely humanized, adjusted to human requirements. This final condition Marx called communism, the condition when all human requirements and needs will be completely satisfied, that is some kind of paradise on the earth. But not all is as simple as it can seem up and the communism, the paradise on the earth will be achieved not at once but after passing some necessary stages of development.
Thus overcoming the first opposition human begins to work out some excess of necessary welfare and therewith the possibility of taking away this excess. That is some men get possibility of not working themselves but living on account of others appropriating excess of the welfare worked out by them. So the exploitation of human by another human appears. The essence of any exploitation consists in alienation of human from its laborís fruits. It can accept different forms such as slaveholding, feudal, capitalistic ones. The first form in temporal attitude is the slaveholding. One human becomes a thing owned by another. It alienated not only from almost all its laborís fruits (its master leaves him only that thatís necessary for the physiological surviving) but also from all human qualities ceasing to be a human. The slave ─ slave-owner contradiction is the basic feature of this stage. Slave struggles for his rights and this struggle gradually through the transformation of quantity into quality and double negation leads up to the second the feudal stage of development. In the feudal stage the basic contradiction is that between the lords possessing grounds and their serfs working on these grounds. All processes go according dialectic laws as well and come to the capitalistic stage. At this stage alienation according to Marx reaches its maximum. All property is concentrated in hands of great owners which devour the less ones taking away their own. Finally all property will be concentrated in hands of several persons, all others will have no property. All thatíll be necessary to do is driving away these persons and take back the property making it common. Itíll be a state of a new harmony between human and its environment, the state called communism. The advent of it is necessary and unavoidable outlet of human history. The more developed is a state the sooner communism will come there to [6, p. 194 Ė 198].
However the historical forecasts of Marx were refuted in nearer years after his death. The concentration of property in few hands didnít occur because as it had turned out:
n it contradicts to further differentiation of the industry production (e. g. the ordering of some details of complex product in other firms specializing on their production is more advantageous in comparison with own producing of them);
n for providing better quality of labor great owners began to make their workers co-owners of their production;
n the development of industry requires a market, i.e. the greater the better quantity of consumers able to acquire products of industry, that is capitalists are vitally interested in common flourishing and well-being but not in the impoverishment as Marx stated.
But this all turned evident several years later but before the communist experiment was realized in the former Russian Empire.
As far as the ontology of Marxism is concerned the following should be mentioned. In this field Marx and his friend and colleague F. Engels as well as all other their adherents and followers go out from the purely materialistic premises. The whole Universe consists of matter. All existing is the only matter and nothing else. The matter is always in the state of motion, the rest is the only kind of motion. There are four forms of the matterís motion: 1) mechanical (physical); 2) chemical; 3) biological and 4) social. The higher forms are supposed to be reduced to lower ones. The life and reasonable life are also only the form of complicated organization of matter arising at the corresponding stages of evolution. The consciousness is a function of organism, the post-mortal existence is absent. However the aim of human life (strange as it may seem) consists in the happiness of future generations.
Control questions and exercises
1. What's an essence the Kopernikal revolution of I. Kant? What is its value for the further development of European philosophy?
2. In which way should the Kantian doctrines of time, space, phenomenon and thing in itself be conceived?
3. What is the categorical imperative and in which way does it correlate with feelings of duty, love and so forth?
4. What according to the Kantian philosophy are the beautiful, the ugly, the majestic, the pleasant? Who is a genius?
5. What is the difference between the true art and the handicraft work according to Schelling?
6. What is an essence of the Hegel's dialectical method? What are its theoretical preconditions?
7. What are the difference and similitude between the Hegel's understanding of dialectics and methaphysics and the antique ones?
8. Which algorithm of the world historical development does the classical Marxism suppose? Is it true? If not, what are its mistakes?
9. What are the materialistic dialectics, its laws concerning the social and natural sciences?